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Kal-El was born the son of Jor-El, a member of the Science Council on the planet Krypton, who had trouble convincing them that Krypton and its sun are on the verge of destruction. Undaunted by their ignorance, Jor-El develops a star ship in which he will send his son to a primitive planet called Earth. Both Jor-El and his wife Lara bid their son a sad goodbye as the star ship is launched from Krypton minutes before the planet and its sun explodes. The star ship carrying Kal-El travels through space, causing the child to age a few years while also educating him. It burns up as it enters the Earth's atmosphere and crash-lands in a nearby Smallville field where Jonathan and Martha Kent finds him before raising him as one of their own.
At adulthood, Kal-El now named as Clark Kent would go on to fight crime and save the world from various threats such as Lex Luther and General Zod as Superman after discovering a suit made specially for him at the Fortress of Solitude.
After eliminating General Zod & the other Kryptonian arch-villains, Ursa & Non, Clark leaves Earth to try to find his former home world of Krypton after astronomers have supposedly found it. But he finds nothing but remnants and he returns home to Earth. When Clark returns to the Daily Planet, he discovers that Lois Lane is engaged to Richard White, the nephew of his boss, Perry White and she also has a son named Jason. To make matters worse,Lex Luthor is at it again - after swindling an elderly, terminally ill woman.
The psychopathic Luthor, whose plans to destroy California failed because of Superman's heroics, vows vengeance against the Man of Steel and contrives a new sinister plot. Using the crystals of Krypton to build a new continent, Luthor planned to submerge the United States underwater. Embedded in the continent's structure is Kryptonite - the lethal substance that is Superman's only weakness. Upon learning of Luthor's sinister scheme, Clark must again race against time to stop the psychopathic Luthor before millions - possibly billions - are killed.
Clark saves Lois Lane, Perry White Jason (who was held captive by Luthor's goons) before proceeding to confront Luthor himself. He was then stabbed by a Kryptonite crystal, weakening him, allowing Lex Luthor and his goons to beat him down before he plunges into the depths of the sea. He was eventually saved by Lois Lane and Perry White via a chopper where Lois pulls out the Kryptonite blade out of his wounds.
Clark would go on to foil Lex Luther's plans before fainting and falling onto Metropolis where he is presumed dead due to the lack of medical technology required to pearce his solid skin as well as to treat him. While Superman remains in a coma, Lois and Jason visit him at the hospital where Lois whispers a secret into Superman's ear that Jason is his son and then kisses him. Clark later awakens and flies to visit Jason, reciting his father Jor-El's last speech to Jason as he sleeps. Lois starts writing another article, titled “Why the World Needs Superman”. Clark reassures her that he is now back to stay, and flies off to low orbit, where he gazes down at the world once again.
Some time later, he would go on and marry Lois who had divorced Perry and raised their son Jason together. However, tragedy struck when a criminal called The Joker gassed The Daily Planet, killing everyone inside including Lois and his friends. Despite this great tragedy, Clark held on to hope, as he believed it would shine through the darkness, a belief which he symbolized by embracing a black and red crest.
Crisis on Infinite Earths
After the Monitor found a Kryptonian who felt great tragedy to be the "Paragon of Truth", Clark was visited by Clark Kent and Lois Lane of Earth-38, and Iris West-Allen, who explained the situation to him; the Paragons were needed to save the multiverse, but Lex Luthor was out to kill all of its Supermen. Luthor promptly arrived and used the Book of Destiny to make Earth-96 Clark attack Earth-38 Clark. They briefly fought, but after Lois knocked Lex out, they were able to get through to Earth-96 Clark and stop him. They returned to their base of operations, the Waverider, where Clark met his Earth-38 counterpart's son, as well as Clark's Earth-1 doppelgänger, Ray Palmer. They attempted to use a machine to locate the other Paragons, but only found one; Kate Kane, who was in the room with them.
Clark then teamed up with J'onn J'onzz to defend the remaining quantum towers, but they were ultimately unsuccessful as every Earth was lost to the antimatter wave. They were forced to return to the Waverider in the Earth-1 universe, the last one remaining.
Once back on the Waverider, the heroes are greeted by Harbinger, who had returned after mysteriously disappearing. Pariah also appeared and the heroes realized that Harbinger's return was a trap by the Anti-Monitor, who proceeded to incapacitate the heroes, kill Mar Novu and destroy Earth-1. Realizing what the Monitor wanted him to do, Pariah managed to send the 7 Paragons to the Vanishing Point where the Anti-Monitor couldn’t reach them as the Waverider was destroyed and remaining heroes killed by the antimatter wave. At the Vanishing Point, the Paragons witnessed as Clark slumped over, disappeared and was replaced by Lex Luthor, who had used the Book of Destiny to make himself the Paragon of Truth, switching places with Clark and succeeding in his mission of killing all Supermen.
After the creation of the new multiverse, Clark is seen restored again but minus the tragedies that happened to him in the past as if all of it never happened in this new timeline, since he was seen wearing his classic red and yellow crest while flying around the Earth as Superman.
The late Paul Walker, Will Smith, Josh Hartnett, Matt Bomer, Brendan Fraser, Ashton Kutcher, David Boreanaz, Hayden Christensen, Jerry O'Connell, Henry Cavill, Ian Somerhalder, Jim Caviezel, Jason Behr, Jared Padalecki and Ryan McPartlin were all considered for the role before Routh was cast. Cavill would later play the character in the DCEU.
Director Bryan Singer became interested in possibly hiring Routh, he arranged for them to meet in a coffee shop. When they met at their table, Routh stumbled and spilled hot coffee all over the table. Although he panicked, thinking he had just lost the part, Singer laughed and said it actually helped him get the part. The incident convinced Singer that Routh could pull off the clumsy, bumbling Clark Kent.
Brandon Routh put on twenty pounds of muscle for the role.
Brandon Routh accepted the role without reading the script.
Brandon Routh has naturally brown eyes, Superman on the other hand has baby blue eyes. For his role, Routh had to wear blue contacts. When asked in an interview how they made his eyes blue he said "Blue prescription contacts, because I wear contacts myself. They were a little bit infuriating, because they were painted. There was white around them, and I would blink and they'd shift. I think they've had to go and retouch some stuff, I'm sure."
After Brandon Routh was announced to be playing Kingdom Come's version of Superman in Crisis on Infinite Earths, many fans were skeptical whether he would be playing the same version from Superman Returns or a completely different iteration. However, the producers of the show confirmed it was the same Superman.